Climate and Energy Program Attorney @ WildEarth Guardians

Climate and Energy Program Attorney


Want to change the world?

WildEarth Guardians is hiring a full-time Climate and Energy Program Attorney to help us in our American West-wide efforts to safeguard our planet and advance climate justice. The Attorney will direct targeted legal, administrative, and other advocacy strategies primarily focused in New Mexico, where there is tremendous opportunity to help the state transition from fossil fuels and in doing so, confront fracking in the largest oil producing region in the world. The Attorney will work to help the state of New Mexico justly and equitably transition from fracking and help shift the entire U.S. away from extracting fossil fuels on public lands.

About WildEarth Guardians

WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) is a west-wide environmental advocacy organization headquartered in Santa Fe, NM with offices in Denver, Missoula, MT, and other locations. With a 30-year history of bold action for the environment, we wage innovative legal and grassroots campaigns to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and community health in the American West.

Our Climate and Energy Program advocates for an American West that is fossil- fuel free by 2035, including 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030, frack- free by 2028, and on the path to full building and transportation electrification before 2050. We recognize the importance of the moment: Ours is the first generation to experience the impacts of climate change and ecosystem destruction, and the last generation with a window of time to do something about it.

In New Mexico, WildEarth Guardians is implementing two key initiatives to confront the oil and gas industry and the greenhouse gases associated with extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. These initiatives include our campaign to protect the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico from unchecked fracking and a campaign to rein in the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico. Our efforts to confront the industry in New Mexico aim to set the precedent that effective climate action requires that oil and gas be kept in the ground.


Working closely with WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program Director and Climate and Energy Senior Campaigner, the Climate and Energy Program Attorney will develop and spearhead strategies and tactics that expose the true cost of oil and gas extraction and leverage environmental and health liabilities to sustain action for climate justice. . The Attorney will engage in rulemakings and other policy initiatives, administrative appeal proceedings, enforcement actions, and possibly other state and/or federal litigation. While focused heavily on seizing opportunities in New Mexico, the work will be done with an eye toward advancing change on an American West-wide and even U.S.-wide scale.

The Attorney will report to and be supervised by WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program Director and collaborate with Guardians’ Managing Attorney, other staff attorneys, and program staff as needed.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Advance legal strategies to confront oil and gas extraction in New Mexico with a particular emphasis on public lands, including lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and New Mexico State Land Office. Prepare and present technical administrative and legal comments, draft appeals, and direct in-house and outside counsel around oil and gas issues.
  • Near-term: File and sustain comment letters and administrative appeals within the New Mexico Environment Department and Environmental Improvement Board challenging air pollution and other environmental permits for oil and gas facilities, as well as engage in precedent setting rulemakings related to the regulation of air, waste, and water.
  • Guide new oil and gas regulatory reform and climate justice policies by working closely with high-ranking administrative officials and advocacy organizations to further our progressive agenda at the state and ultimately national level.
  • Manage media and communications efforts related to legal and policy work, including press releases, blogs, fact sheets, and social media content.
  • Coordinate coalition-building strategies at a local, regional, and national level, and maintain key relationships with partner organizations, as well as collaborate on task forces and committees representing our

Required Qualifications:

  • Law degree and admission to and good standing with a state bar.
  • 5+ years of demonstrated legal and/or policy experience in environmental issues including litigation, administrative engagement, and rule and policy development.
  • Ability to write and file administrative comments, develop legal cases, and analyze and interpret legislative and regulatory language.
  • Acumen to distill legal concepts and other complex issues and communicate them to a variety of audiences.
  • A healthy degree of irreverence, outrage, and sense of humor.

Knowledge and Skills:

The ideal Climate and Energy Program Attorney is an expert generalist in legal and policy work with the ability to navigate politics without compromising principles, and will bring to the position a fine attention to detail and strong organizational skills. Knowledge and skills that will be beneficial to bring to the position include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to take initiative and produce consistent, quality work while juggling multiple priorities and deadlines.
  • Ability to work on diverse teams or with a diverse range of people.
  • Understanding of how conservation and environmentalism have historically and currently impacted Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. Some knowledge of issues related to the oversight and regulation of the oil and gas industry.
  • Detail oriented and organized, with exceptional research and communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Excellent judgment, discretion, and diplomacy. Dynamic and empathetic skills to foster relationships with partners, agencies, and communities.
  • Up-to-date computer skills and an understanding how to learn and utilize data management software (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel), and web browsers for research and data mining.

Salary: $60,000 – $75,000, depending on experience, salary negotiable.

Location: Ideally New Mexico, but during the pandemic, anywhere you want.

WildEarth Guardians offers a friendly and flexible, team-based environment with an excellent benefits package, including full health, dental, life, and disability coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan with a 3% match, 31 days combined of vacation and personal leave on top of all federal holidays, and a paid long-term leave policy (family/sabbatical).


Submit résumé and cover letter to with the subject: “Climate and Energy Program Attorney,” and make sure to address any pertinent experience, including professional and personal experience, that is relevant to this position.

Deadline for applications is September 4, 2020.

WildEarth Guardians does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family/marital status, religion or other protected classes.


Nonprofit- NGO

Salary Range: $60,000-$75,000 – Negotiable






2020-08-23 00:00